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Guard members to be honored

Coeur d’Alene soldier Jason Rzepa will receive the Purple Heart in a 6 p.m. ceremony today at Red Lion Templin’s Hotel in Post Falls.

Staff Sgt. Rzepa lost both legs below the knees when his Idaho Army National Guard unit was attacked by an improvised explosive device July 7 in Baghdad. Two other Coeur d’Alene soldiers, Spc. Nicholas Newby and Sgt. Nathan Beyers, were killed.

Rzepa has been undergoing rehabilitation and therapy at a military hospital in Texas. He and his family will attend the ceremony.

Two other members of the Post Falls-based unit, Bravo Company, 145th Brigade Support Battalion, 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team, will receive the Army Commendation Medal for actions credited with saving Rzepa’s life, an Army National Guard news release said.

Staff Sgt. Ryan Rogers, of Post Falls, and Sgt. Gregory Wilson, of Boise, pulled Rzepa from his wrecked vehicle following the attack and administered first aid.